Project Synergy

Published 05/07 2014 06:25PM

Updated 05/07 2014 07:51PM

A nationwide drug sting has netted over three dozen arrests in Alabama and four of those arrests occurred in Houston County.

Governor Robert Bentley held a press conference in Montgomery announcing the arrests.

It was part of a national undercover operation called “Project Synergy”. It is the largest law enforcement initiative ever to target synthetic drugs.

In Alabama the operation known as “Operation Red Tide” targeted manufactures, distributors and retailers of over 250 illegal drugs.

Officers across the nation and the state were involved and among them was Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes.

"Spice is a synthetic form of marijuana they spray it with a lot of different chemicals to produce a very intense high. A lot of people say its a more intense high than the actual organically grown marijuana. It’s a very bad drug it has a higher hallucinogenic effect than marijuana does," said Sheriff Hughes.

There have been 38 arrests have been made in Alabama including the four made in Houston County.

"They're charged with distribution of controlled substances and these individuals with distribution charges we tend to get longer prison sentences,” said Sheriff Hughes. “These are the people that are actually selling drugs. So these are the people we want to actually put behind bars for a long period of time to keep them off our streets to keep them from selling drugs to our children

Ten Alabama counties participated in the operation and over 200 pounds of synthetic narcotics were seized. They also recovered 500,000 dollars in cash.

The investigative effort that drew praise from Alabama’s governor.

"This is a good day because as you see on this table - this is only a part of the confiscated synthetic drugs that killed people in Alabama," said Governor Bentley.

The drug was outlawed in 2012 by legislators and statistics show one in nine high school students are abusing synthetic marijuana.

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